Sexual harassment

Procedure for a report

 

If a university member has experienced an incident and is still unsure whether it is a case of sexual harassment, the incident can be reported in a low-threshold manner.

Students can report to the supervisor or lecturer, employees to their superiors. Or you can contact one of the internal or external contact persons.

Contact can be made by email, on the phone, or at a face-to-face meeting.

Internal contact persons:

  • Head of Human Resources (Barbara Engel)
  • Office for Gender Equality (Lilian Fankhauser)
  • Head of Legal Services (Christoph Pappa)

External contact: Universities of Bern Counselling Centre

The report is taken seriously by the contact persons and the person concerned is quickly invited to a meeting and asked to describe the incident. A record of the conversation is kept. Any further steps will only be taken with the expressed consent of the person concerned.

If the person concerned does not make an official report, there is no further inquiry. The person concerned is entitled to counseling (Universities of Bern Counselling Centre).

 

Official report

If the person concerned decides to make an official report, the internal contact person involved makes further inquiries.

The internal contact person involved shall hear the person accused. The person concerned does not have to be present at the hearing of the accused person. The interview is recorded. In the event of an admission by the accused person, appropriate measures will be taken against the person accused and the internal inquiries will be officially concluded. The sanction options are set out in the legal basis (german).

The person concerned is personally notified of the conclusion of the internal inquiries. As a rule, the person concerned is informed about the measures taken.

 

Internal investigation

If harassment by the person accused is denied and there are very different perceptions, the investigating person will be involved, by the involved contact person or the person concerned. In case of bias, a substitute is sought.

Investigator

The investigating person investigates the case: talks to the persons involved, examination of the facts and decision whether or not sexual harassment has occurred. The investigating person comes to a final conclusion. If sexual harassment has occurred, appropriate measures will be proposed to the Executive Board of the University.

The person concerned will be informed of the conclusion of the internal investigation and that the case has been forwarded to the Executive Board of the University, which will decide on any measures to be taken. The person concerned is informed about further possible steps (including filing a criminal complaint, see legal basis (german)).

Based on the proposal by the investigating person, the Executive Board of the University decides on appropriate measures to be taken against the accused person.

The Executive Board of the University communicates the decided measures to the person accused and enforces them.